How Big Data Builds The Sensor Society

As our cars, phones and computers get “smarter” they — and the companies that provide them — know a lot more about us than they used to. A large part of this data collection stems from the fact that these devices act as sensors, collecting information we’d probably rather keep to ourselves.

This explosion of sensing devices and the growing embrace of “big data” logic means that we are creating a sensor society: a society which demands that all sensor-derived data is collected, stored and used down the track.

So what are the implications of a world populated by sensors? Let’s have a look at the devices we use today and work from there.

Everyday devices can now be packed with sensors and this has created a number of surprising technological innovations:

some carpets can predict when a person is likely to fall
social networks become sensor networks
mobile phones can be used to identify chemical warfare attacks
gaming systems become national security warning systems (see video below).

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